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Death of the Darkroom

Making higher education more accessible

CLONMEL -- One of the most important facets of a CV is the level of qualification documented on it. University College Dublin is helping to widen access to non-traditional students, thus enhancing their ability to earn a college degree. The move deserves emulation by the rest of the Irish higher education system.

Under UCD's new arrangements, single parents and others will be able to opt in and out of courses in all faculties as they wish. Degree courses will be broken up into smaller, more manageable units which can be taken by students at different levels, according to their individual needs.

UCD President Dr Hugh Brady told The Irish Times, "We can no longer expect a single parent from an economically disadvantaged area to move through college in the same way and at the same pace as an 18-year-old fresh out of a south Dublin private, fee-paying school." Brady's flow plan allows a student to take 50% of a first-year arts or business course, gain a credit and complete the course at a later stage.

UCD's initiative makes its programmes more international and more socially inclusive in one fell swoop. Implementing this concept would enhance the status of any other college that follows suit.

Sean Flynn -- "UCD announces more accessible courses" in The Irish Times ExamTimes, June 18, 2004